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D38
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14 Aug 2021, 8:29 am

Anybody know if it is possible to have ASD without having sensory issues involving food? I know a few people who think I am on the spectrum, but I doubt it since I have never had an issue with eating. I don’t remember every being a "fussy" eater or having restricted food habits. The one issue I do have is how the food looks on the plate, I have to rearrange it until it looks right before eating it and get very frustrated if I can’t make it work, I typically rearrange the inside of my sandwhich so that everything is equally placed, or if it can’t be equally placed rearranging it so that I will eat the best part last, amongst other things. I also went through a phase where I would have to eat every ingredient at the same time once before starting the rest. But nothing more significant than that.

Could it be possible to have ASD but be hypo sensitive to food so that you have no problems with the taste/texture etc? I do seem to have a higher tolerance to spirits than some people I know, and know that I somehow got my hands on whisky a few times when I was 2 but was absolutely fine drinking it.



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14 Aug 2021, 12:43 pm

I have always had a few quirks, such as preferring rice to potatoes, and not liking Rhubarb, but it has never been about appearance or texture. Now, I'm vegan, but that is common to NTs. Only my reasons may be AS influenced - it is obvious to me if my food comes from a supply chain that has a big impact on nature. When I see a domestic dog eating, I see a wild dog starving as well.



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14 Aug 2021, 12:50 pm

It's entirely possible to be hyposensitive to the taste/texture of food. I used to be hypersensitive to food texture as a child, but now I'm pretty hyposensitive and will eat almost anything (sans a couple things). There's people who have always been like the latter.

As for the rearranging food and eating ingredients in a specific order, that's systemizing and is common for people with autism. Sometimes autistic people just have a particular way of doing things that they think is most efficient for them, even if it seems odd to other people. There's autists that even have very specific bowls, utensils, cups, etc. they use to eat with (I am one of those people lol).


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14 Aug 2021, 1:16 pm

Hypo sensitivities as well as hyper sensitivities is a diagnostic criteria for ASD.


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14 Aug 2021, 2:20 pm

As a young child I disliked most savoury food and wanted nothing but desserts and sweets. Every time my father complimented my mother's cooking I would contradict him. My bluntness was probably down to ASD, though as my parents were routinely blunt when not in unfamiliar company, they probably also taught me to do that by example. I did comply and eat the food I disliked, with only moderate resistance. I guess a strong preference for sweet food is pretty normal for young children. The only food I had really big issues about were fish roes, which most people probably find pretty disgusting anyway, and my sister also hated those, and my mother had to give up on them after a few weeks because of our resistance. I even accepted a daily spoonful of cod liver oil when I was very young.

As time went by I developed a liking for savoury food, and stopped whinging. As a young adult I was keen to try new foods, with some kind of ideological preferences such as disliking a lot of the food my girlfriend's mother gave me (she would do silly old-fashioned things such as adding bicarbonate to the greens to make them greener, and that also made them too mushy for my taste, and I'd read that it destroys the vitamin C). So my preference was for the less traditional cuisine, though I was fairly omniverous, and rarely refused anything or made a fuss. Nobody seemed to think I was a picky eater. The one thing I recall that set me apart was raw onions, chillies, any kind of curry that wasn't very mild. My girlfriend and our peers were often quite into those things, while I rapidly discovered that I hate them. I still have trouble understanding why a huge swathe of people like to eat anything that hurts their mouth.

I gradually became more health-conscious with food, and started rejecting more and more conventionally-accepted things, but I was rarely rigid about it when faced with social pressure. These days I'm more rigid and as I've discovered more about the food industry, the ethical problems with meat, and healthy eating, there are a lot of things I don't normally eat any more, and I've only been to MacDonalds once in the last decade (and hardly ever before that), and that was because I was new to the place I was living and didn't want to seem too aloof. Even then I think I only had a cup of tea or something. I remember looking online for acceptable MacDonalds food and finding almost nothing.

So I don't think I have what could rightly be called food issues. Most of my friends in the UK are vegetarians and vegans, and they don't much like junk food or politically-questionable food outlets, so there's little or no problem. In the Arkansas countryside it's often rather different.

I'm not hypo-sensitive to food. I'm discerning about what tastes good to me and what doesn't, and it's fairly important to me that I enjoy my food generally, but I'm not violently opposed to making an exception now and then to avoid hurting people's feelings, as long as it's not too big a step down.



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14 Aug 2021, 2:30 pm

^^ Agreed that a preference for sweets is not AS specific. Jerry Seinfeld did a great talk about his discovery of Halloween candy. You do remind me that I did avoid egg nog over the matter of texture. It reminded me more of what was coughed up and spit out than a potable fluid meant to go down.



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14 Aug 2021, 4:35 pm

Same here, more picky about the arrangement and the order of eating than the taste.



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14 Aug 2021, 4:41 pm

My usual supper is a uniform mixture of vegetables with rice or macaroni, cooked in one pot. For variety, I change the reading material. Caveat: my sense of smell only works well about one day a month, so I'm not much into flavours.



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15 Aug 2021, 5:43 am

Yes, it is possible. There are even some officially diagnosed aspies who don't have sensory issues at all.

Also, the obsession of wanting food to be in certain order or look a certain way is common for people on the spectrum as far as I know. I too want the ingredients of my sandwiches to be in a certain order. Not that I go and change it (anymore) if someone else has made it and the order is wrong, but if I make it myself, the order must be right and the toppings placed properly.



D38
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15 Aug 2021, 6:38 am

I don’t usually rearrange food prepared for me in public or company any more either.

As for sensory issues, there are many sounds that irritate me more than they should, just hearing people breath can be a big problem. I am also averse to touch, mostly when it is unexpected or light, and used to get upset after being tickled as a child. As a newborn I cried so loud for no apparent reason my parents had to shut the windows and apparently I screamed and hid when toilet training. I don’t think I have ever experienced sensory overload, but had difficulty during driving lessons when the roads got unfamiliar and complicated, my decisions were always too slow and I couldn’t pay attention to all the different types of information simultaneously. So I guess these could all relate to ASD.

I just thought not having obvious food related sensory issues pretty much ruled out ASD, based on how common food issues are.



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15 Aug 2021, 6:51 am

I notice that I'm pretty fussy about getting even layers of each sandwich ingredient, considering that I have never had a bite of anything like that and thought the mix was off. That only happens if I forget to stir a two-part mix, or somebody has stolen the icing off a cake.



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15 Aug 2021, 9:02 am

I don't rearrange food but I'm fussy about things being convenient, so I refuse to use heavy-handled knives because they're more likely to fall of the plate when I move the plate from the kitchen into the living room (it's a mass / inertia thing). I often use a spoon rather than a more conventional fork to eat with because it's more efficient, and I chop the spinach into little pieces with scissors when I make salad, so that a spoon can be used to eat the salad with. And to me a sandwich is defective if anything is likely to fall out of it during handling. All meals have to be 100% edible, don't want to have to leave bits of uneatable food such as tough bits of vegetables on the plate - it's unfair on whoever has to clean the dishes. With my meals the plate-cleaning labour is minimal.



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15 Aug 2021, 11:50 am

^^ good points. I am astounded that so much fast food is impossible to eat neatly with one hand in a car. I always thought that cherries and bicycles were a perfect match. Any other fruit was not so bite-sized, and any other place, the pits were a problem.



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16 Aug 2021, 3:57 am

Well the three autistics in my home don't have food issues. We were all picky as little kids actually, but being offered healthy, wholesome food again and again seemed to have fixed it. I heard it takes 10 tries to like a new food. My only issue is mixed textures in dishes like stews or casseroles, where tough things are mixed with soft mushy stuff. I just pick them out and eat separately. Like I'd pick out all the broccoli first and eat them, then the meat, then the potatoes.


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16 Aug 2021, 4:24 am

It is very possible for one to have hyposensitivities or lack of response/preferences.

Sensory issues are not limited to the hypersensitive or the 'fussy' and picky types.



I'd rather question... Digestive issues than related to gustatory senses.


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D38
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16 Aug 2021, 4:58 am

I have had IBS symptoms for a long time, which I’ve read is the most common type of GI issue with ASD.